Friday, April 13, 2007



13 April 2007


A couple of years ago I included a reference to a current political episode in our Christmas letter to friends and family. For my trouble I got back a note from a friend who said he loved the season and the greeting but was ‘really disappointed that I’d sullied it all by referring to politics’.

He didn’t like or agree with what I’d written! That aside, the whole Jesus Christ story is about a heavenly intrusion on “Current political arrangements!” My suspicion is that my friend is so aligned on one side politically that anyone who expresses a contrary view is going to elicit a blast.

I’ve got something similar going in my current writing. Mention David Hicks and I’m going to receive another anonymous note remonstrating with me over mixing faith and the world. It’s like having a fish on the line. Throw out a bait, (refer to Mr Hicks), and you get a strike. It’s not what you say, it is that you mention his name. In this case I’ve coined the term “Hickstrionics” to describe it. And now that the “trial” is over – those who are hickstrionic are out in force.

Made me wonder what it is that makes your blood boil? What is it that really gets you going? Maybe the right question is, ‘who is it that really gets you going?’ I’m not much of a psychologist but it is perfectly obvious that almost all of us have someone / something that pushes our buttons – someone / something, the mere mention of whom or which can ruin our day.

An example. Not long ago I was having a chat with a man who is the author of a number of books – some about political figures, others about military people and stories. In the course of that conversation I mentioned Sydney author Peter Fitzsimmons and his writing on Tobruk and Kokoda. The reaction was instantaneous. A look of anger / contempt flashed over his face. Then the shutters went up, the eyes glazed, and the conversation was abruptly ended. Professional jealousy? Maybe.

He’s not alone. It’s likely that as a public figure his reactions are going to get noticed. But I suspect most of us have similar stuff going on and therefore need to hear the call of Jesus Christ to “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Take up the invitation to unload your junk. As a dear friend of mine discovered, it was impossible to freely pray for someone else, (read: to have pity for someone else), until she unloaded years of accumulated self pity.

So, away with Hickstrionics, which reveal so much of the old Adam in us, and get on with being made Christlike.

Bless You, and bless your soul work.


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